5 GHz low capacitance passive oscilloscope probes

A family of high-performance RF, microwave and pulse probes allowing cost-effective fingertip browsing of broadband signals up to 5 GHz (10 Gb/s).

With less than 0.4 pF tip capacitance and ground-referred loading of 220 Ω to 910 Ω, the PicoConnect probes are less invasive than the majority of existing and more costly probing solutions. To achieve measurement accuracies down to a few percent they are ratio-compensated for their typical application: the probing of transmission lines and ports between 40 Ω and 100 Ω (80 Ω to 200 Ω differential).

Suited to interfacing with any measuring instrument with 50 Ω inputs, PicoConnect probes allow broadband oscilloscope and spectrum analyzer users to browse circuitry, backplanes, interconnect and systems, typically without interrupting their function, and to do so across multiple channels without breaking a budget.

The family offers probe division ratios of ÷5, ÷10 and ÷20 with impedances to suit higher-voltage analog and pulse applications. For each ratio there is a DC or AC coupled option, the latter important when DC bias must not be disturbed. The whole family is realized as a set of interchangeable SMA(f) probe heads that can be used with any appropriate 50 Ω cable, or accessories such as filters, dividers, amplifiers and further attenuation.

PicoConnect probes are specified and characterized with a supplied 085 high-performance flexible coaxial cable, with which they achieve market-leading flatness and pulse response. The innovative, patented in-PCB coplanar construction guarantees underlying microwave integrity along with mechanical precision, strength and electromagnetic immunity. The passive design is inherently resistant to static discharge and demonstrates no significant overload recovery latency or error. The PicoConnect probes and multi-head probe kits are provided with solder-in accessories in a convenient carry and storage case.

UK patent GB2550398 Improved Signal Probe

Title Language Issue Size Updated All products All languages All documents Status
PicoConnect 900 Series Probes Data Sheet english 5 6 MB Feb 08 2022 english open
PicoConnect 900 Series Probes Leaflet english 3 5 MB Apr 08 2019 english open
PicoConnect 900 EU Declaration of Conformity english 1 587 KB Dec 22 2016 english open
PicoConnect 900 Series Passive Probes User’s Guide english
4 3 MB Mar 16 2017 english
The Trouble with Oscilloscope Probes and an “off-piste” design for microwave and gigabit application english 2 2 MB Apr 19 2017 english open
Product Price Quantity
Image of TA315 - Gold-plated probe tips and solder-in wire kit for PicoConnect probes Gold-plated probe tips and solder-in wire kit for PicoConnect probes
Thumbnail of the TA312 accessory Precision sleeved coaxial cable (60 cm)
image of TA265 - Precision sleeved coaxial cable (30 cm) Precision sleeved coaxial cable (30 cm)
Thumbnail of the TA263 accessory High-flex unsleeved coaxial cable (60 cm)
Image of TA264 - Precision high-flex unsleeved coaxial cable (30 cm)
Precision high-flex unsleeved coaxial cable (30 cm)
Image of TA313 - Adaptor 3 GHz SMA(f)-BNC(m) Adaptor 3 GHz SMA(f)-BNC(m)
Image of TA314 - Adaptor 18 GHz SMA(f)-N(m) Adaptor 18 GHz SMA(f)-N(m)
Model 911 912 913 914 915 916
Nominal division ratio 20:1 10:1 5:1
Bandwidth (–3 dB) > 4 GHz > 4 GHz > 5 GHz
Max. usable data rate (fundamental) 8 Gb/s 8 Gb/s 10 Gb/s
Max. usable data rate (3rd harmonic) 2.6 Gb/s 2.6 Gb/s 3.3 Gb/s
Max. usable data rate (5th harmonic) 1.6 Gb/s 1.6 Gb/s 2 Gb/s
Transition time < 87.5 ps < 87.5 ps < 70 ps
Probe tip impedance (nominal) 960 Ω 440 Ω 230 Ω
Probe tip capacitance (typical) 0.3 pF
Probe tip capacitance (maximum) 0.4 pF
Accuracy for line Z0 = 40 Ω to 60 Ω[1] < ±0.13 dB (±1.6%) < ±0.18 dB (±2.1%) < ±0.30 dB (±3.4%)
Accuracy for line Z0 = 0 Ω to 100 Ω[2] < ±0.25 dB (±2.9%) < ±0.50 dB (±6.0%) < ±0.93 dB (±10.2%)
Nominal error for line Z0 = 75 Ω[3] < –0.17 dB (–1.9%) < –0.26 dB (–2.9%) < –0.54 dB (–6.0%)
Continuous voltage[4] 14 V AC RMS 14 V RMS 10 V AC RMS 10 V RMS 8 V AC RMS 8 V RMS
DC blocking voltage (max.) 50 V DC - 50 V DC - 50 V DC -
Peak voltage[5,6] < 150 V
Pulse width at peak voltage < 500 ns
Mark:space at peak voltage < 1:120 (0.8%) < 1:230 (0.4%) < 1:360 (0.3%)
Coupling[4] AC DC AC DC AC DC
Low-frequency cut-off (–3 dB) 40 kHz - 80 kHz - 150 kHz -
Pulse /eye droop > 50 ns / % - > 20 ns / % - > 10 ns / % -
Flatness (±0.5 dB) 120 kHz to 2 GHz DC to 2 GHz 240 kHz to 2 GHz DC to 2 GHz 450 kHz to 2 GHz DC to 2 GHz
Output impedance[6]
(for test node impedance 50 Ω)
717 Ω 245 Ω 203 Ω
Additive voltage noise @ 23 °C 3.4 nV/√Hz 2.0 nV/√Hz 1.7 nV/√Hz
Operating temperature range 0 to 50°C
Storage temperature range –20 to 70°C
Temperature range for stated specifications 15 to 40°C
Operating humidity range 5% to 80% RH non-condensing
Storage humidity range 5% to 95% RH non-condensing
Altitude range up to 2000 m
Pollution degree 2
Safety approvals EN61010-031:2002+A1 2008 safety requirements for hand-held probe assemblies for electrical measurement and test
EMC approvals Not applicable
Environmental approvals 2012/19/EU - Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment 2011/65/EU - Restriction of use of certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment
Output connector (probe head) SMA(f
Supplied cable 60 cm SMA(m-m) precision unsleeved high-flex 085 microwave coaxial cable (unsleeved and 30 cm options also available)
Supplied accessories Pack of replacement probe tips; two coils of solder-in gold-plated wire; SMA-to-BNC adaptor (with RF, microwave and pulse models only)
Dimensions (probe head) 68 x 19 x 11 mm
Nominal probe tip pitch 5 mm
Weight 5 g

All specifications are subject to change without notice.

Note 1: Line impedance range representative of most common 50 Ω (100 Ω differential) and 45 Ω (90 Ω differential) lines ± 20% mismatch.
Note 2: Line impedance range covers all typical transmission line or test node impedances in the range 0 Ω to 100 Ω (200 Ω differential).
Note 3: CAUTION: When using AC coupled probes, to avoid damage to the connected instrument ensure that it can withstand transient voltage equal to the DC bias of the test node divided by the nominal probe ratio.
Note 4: Typically it will be possible to scale results at the connected instrument to correct for this small nominal error.
Note 5: WARNING: For peak voltage above 46.7 V, to ensure that touch current lies within acceptable limits of EN61010: 2010, pulse or burst width must not exceed 500 ns and pulse mark:space must remain below 2%.
Note 6: CAUTION: To avoid damage to the probe, RMS voltage over the pulse period must remain within specified probe rating.
Note 7: Probes having unmatched output impedance will not absorb pulse aberrations that reflect off mismatch at the connected instrument input. Pulse fidelity and flatness are therefore more dependent on good instrument match.